INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Parallel benchmarking & retrospection.
2. This dispute concerns a claim by six racecourse staff for "parallel benchmarking" resulting from benchmarking awards made to general operatives in Kildare County Council, and a consequent claim for full retrospection. The Union claims that for pay purposes general operatives in Punchestown Racecourse had historical links to general operatives in Kildare County Council, and that this was accepted by the Labour Court in LCR12372. The Union also claims that the Labour Court accepted in LCR12372 that Punchestown, Naas and the Curragh Racecourses jointly negotiated with the Union on pay claims. The Union is now seeking to use LCR12372 to have Labour Court Recommendation LCR18650 - in which the Court recommended "parallel benchmarking" for general operatives in the Curragh Racecourse due to the long-established linkage with local authority rates - applied to its members in Punchestown Racecourse.
- This dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 4th December 2007 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 5th March 2008, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The pay parity between general operatives in Punchestown racecourse and Kildare County Council has been accepted by the Labour Court (LCR1237).
2. The payment of "parallel benchmarking" to general operatives in another racecourse has recently been recommended by the Labour Court(LCR18650).
4. 1. The Company is a fully independent racecourse and has never jointly-negotiated pay alongside other racecourses.
2. LCR12372 is an historical document relating to an eating on-site allowance only.
3.Public sector benchmarking payments have no relevance toa private sector employer such as the Company.
4. Company pay rates are not out of line with appropriate sector norms.
5. The Company's current financial position is difficult. This claim isa cost increasing claim, which is specifically precluded under Towards 2016.
It is clear from Labour Court Recommendation 12372 that a pay relationship existed between the Claimants and General Operatives in Kildare County Council up to 1989 at least. It is equally clear that the pay relationship was eroded at some point in the interim.
The circumstances in which that erosion occured is not clear but it is acknowledged that there was no formal agreement to depart from the historic pay determination arrangement.
In the circumstances the Court recommends that the dispute be resolved on the following basis: -
- 1. The increase claimed should be paid from the date of this recommendation to be phased in over 18 months. In return the parties should identify and agree appropriate cost-offsetting productivity measures.
- 2. The parties should agree that the historical pay relationship with Kildare County Council is now formally and permanently terminated.
3. The parties should agree a new arrangement in line with comparable private sector establishments to operate in the future.
In the event of agreement not being reached on cost-offsetting measures or on a new pay determination system the matter may be referred back to the Court.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7 March, 2008.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jonathan McCabe, Court Secretary.